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Monday, December 3, 2018

Keeping it Fresh – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - post author Guest Reviewer

Keeping it Fresh (6 pages in pdf format) by Rick Hansberry

Ken and Ruth have done it all. Except this.

What are you willing to do to keep things fresh? That’s a question many couples in their 60s dare to ask, and Ken and Ruth do their best to answer.

Does Fresh mean honest? Or just exciting? And when the stakes are ‘whatever needs to be done to share one’s life’, how can a couple truly know?

As veteran writer Rick Hansberry’s script opens, we meet Ken and Ruth in their well worn family car; tersely discussing their “action plan.” Ruth’s awash with nerves – her hands playing with a folded piece of paper. Ken tries to be sensitive to her concerns, but fails miserably at every attempt.

Where is this duo going? And why?

Their destination – a grocery store. What on Earth could be nerve racking there?

Soon, we discover Ken and Ruth are in… a race. Of what kind? The truth’s unclear. But what unfolds next is a comedy of errors – a wondrous blend of anxiety and charm. Imagine the slapstick as Ken and Ruth dodge obstacles, friends, enemies, wet floors, and – of course – time.

What will the finish line reveal? We won’t spoil the surprise (or the produce). But you will find a warm, sophisticated comedy – ala a young June Squibb or Seymour Cassell.

This is a script with tons of buy-one-get-two-free.  Including: a budget friendly tale, featuring characters of a “specific” (and underrepresented) age. All of which makes this story stand out – and write it’s way into even old and jaded hearts.

Need some older actors? Consider giving your parents’ “cool” friends something to do for a day. But regardless of who you cast, you’ll charm your way into festivals with this Fresh, young-at-heart gem!

Budget: All that’s needed are two good actors, and access to a deli or supermarket – at least a few aisles.

About the writer: Rick Hansberry is a screenwriter, producer and director with more than 20 years of industry experience. His SAG Foundation award-winning Branches features narration by Daniel Stern and garnered international festival awards. In 2017 his thriller/horror film, Evil In Her was released on Amazon Video and Vimeo On Demand. His most recent short, inspired by true events, has won praise for its portrayal of one girl’s positive approach to handling her Type 1 Diabetes. You can view It’s Not Permanent free on YouTube. Rick has two shorts playing in the festival circuit now and has several other shorts and features available here and is presently available for hire for new story ideas, rewrites and adaptations. He can be reached at djrickhansberry – AT – msn, (cell phone 717-682-8618) and IMDB credits available here.

Read Keeping it Fresh

This screenplay may not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.

Find more scripts available for production

About the reviewer: Rachel Kate Miller is a veteran of the feature animation industry, having worked on several Oscar winning films, bringing stories to life. In 2012, she left animation to move to Chicago and run the design department for President Obama’s reelection campaign. She is now living in New York, writing, consulting on various projects and creating an educational animated series for elementary students focused on engaging kids in science. Want to drop Rachel line? She can be reached at rachelkate.miller (a) gmail.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Ten Thousand Souls by Marnie – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - post author Guest Reviewer

Ten Thousand Souls (6 pages, pdf format) by Marnie Mitchell-Lister

In England’s darkest hour of the 1300’s, a Doctor makes a deal with Death Himself

What would you do if the Grim Reaper came a knockin’? If you’re Bill and Ted, you go on a Bogus Journey… Only a few of you will get that reference, but it’ll kill (pun intended) those of you that do.

What if, instead, you made a deal with the Reaper? IE: the Harbinger of Death? That is the very question asked in the script Ten Thousand Souls, penned by apt scribe Marnie Mitchell-Lister.

We meet Doctor Oliver Blackburn in 1900, visiting a gravely ill patient. Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be much that can be done. So Doctor Blackburn offers to sit with the man until his time comes – and he “goes”.

Sweet, right? Not so fast. Because soon as the man passes, Doctor Blackburn… well, let’s just say, “makes his move”..

Throughout Ten Thousand Souls, Doctor Blackburn narrates our story, keeping us hooked as we jump through centuries (from 1350 to 1970 to 2011). Twists and turns abound until our journey is brought to a satisfying – albeit tragic – end.

A script with multiple advantages, Ten Thousand has the potential to play well to the festival and awards crowd, but to help make a name for a director looking for their start.

Blue Oyster Cult once sang “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper”Ten Thousand Souls reminds us that maybe, just maybe, we should.

Budget: Notable. There are several time jumps (from 1350 to 2011 and a few in between). It also has multiple settings. However, there are only a few characters (Doctor Blackburn and Death most prominently) which lessens the budget a smidge. There are, of course, some effects that will be necessary to bring this tale to life on screen. That said, a clever director with a set, access to some costumes and some loyal actors could likely make this work for less. Anyway, what are you doing reading this? Contact Marnie and get this thing made!

About the Writer Marnie Mitchell-Lister has creative A.D.D. Some of her writing can be read here: BrainFluffs.com. Some of her photography can be seen here: marnzart.wordpress.com.

Read Ten Thousand Souls (pdf format)

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This screenplay may not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.

About the reviewer: Mitch Smith is an award winning screenwriter who offers notes, script editing and phone consultations. Follow him on twitter @MitchScripts, or email him at Mitch.SmithScripts (a) gmail.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

The October 2018 OWC Hyper Epic Choice… - post author Don

Beneath The Surface (6 pages in pdf format) by Richard D. Kinsella

(click the image to take you to the full version)

Read the rest at HyperEpics.com

Beneath The Surface adapted by Thomas Tuna from Richard’s script.


About the Writer: Richard D. Kinsella is a multi-award winning Director and Screenwriter from Manchester, UK. A restless soul who has circumnavigated the world twice and has visited 110 countries in his relatively short and increasingly surreal life, he is currently putting the finishing touches to a feature script he hopes to film next year. Check out his IMDb credits. Rick can be reached at scartissuefilms at gmail.


About Hyper Epics: Home of the 3 page sagas, Hyper Epics is a bold anthology series that offers diverse and exciting comic book stories on its website – www.hyperepics.com – and in print form. Each original story is packed with stunning artwork, memorable characters, and captivating stories enhanced with dazzling soundtracks. It is quickly becoming a go-to destination for readers worldwide. SimplyScripts is a Patreon supporter of Hyper Epics.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Skip by Gary Howell – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - post author Dena McKinnon

Skip (3 pages in pdf format) by Gary Howell

A woman finds it difficult to communicate with her mother, but will that change when her great-granddaughter comes for a visit?

Jane drops her daughter, Sophie, off with Anna, her mother, Sophie’s grandmother. Sophia sings an old but memorable jump rope song. Anna recognizes this old song and chimes in. They sing together as Sophie jumps.

And the generations don’t stop there! Anna takes Sophia along to the retirement home to visit Gloria, Anna’s mother, Sophie’s great grandmother. Anna wheels Gloria out into the garden. She tries to talk with Gloria, but we learn Gloria has lost her memory. However, as Gloria takes interest in young Sophia, a smile comes to her face and for that moment, her memory is reawakened by the chant of the old jump rope rhyme, Cinderella dressed in yellow… and just when we think her memory is back, Anna asks Gloria if she recognizes her. But it is a very sad moment when Gloria doesn’t respond.

This is a sad but sweet story that would be super low budget and easy to produce. It’s a strong piece that everyone can relate to. No matter our age, we all know time is something we cannot stop or even turn back without a time machine but it’s part of life.

Things I love about Skip:

I love the way the writer scans over four generations weaving the jump rope rhyme throughout. We see youth in Sophie, the middle aged always-on-the-go in Jane, the gracefully aging Anna and then Gloria who is in a state of waiting for death to come. I super love the way the writer touches our heart at the end when we see that Sophie has left her jump rope in Gloria’s lap. This story makes a reader appreciate each stage of life. It is also chock full of female cast which is hot right now, and it’s a story I think could wow a lot of festivals!

Production: Budget – low; Actors – four and one extra; Locations – 2

About the Writer: Gary Howell is an attorney by trade, but a writer at heart. He has written several shorts, one of which was recently produced, “Country Road 12” that stars Dee Wallace (“E.T.”, “Poltergeist”). He has also co-written with Rick Hansberry a dramedy, “According to Plan”, that was optioned with Josh Monkarsh of Traffic City Productions, and is in development. He has had a manager reach out regarding representation after a drama pilot, “Bounty,” has performed well in a couple of competitions.

Recently Gary and Rick started working on a new script together (“Lake Regret”) and they’re blogging about the process from beginning to end, including the marketing and hopefully eventual sale and production of the script. You can read about their efforts at www.lakeregretmovie.com.

Gary enjoys writing both comedy and drama, and leans towards indie-themed pieces that are character driven. He enjoys reviewing scripts and providing advice and constructive criticism to other writers, and would welcome the opportunity to work collaboratively with any producers/directors looking to work with him on any type of project. Gary can be reached at: GaryMHowell (a) gmail.

Read Skip (3 pages in pdf format)

This screenplay may not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.

Find more scripts available for production

About the reviewer: Dena McKinnon is an optioned and produced screenwriter who also writes on assignment. Her IMDb credits. She can be reached at: girlbytheshore (a) hotmail.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Driver Les by Larry Postel – Short Script Review (available for production) - post author LC

DRIVER LES (pdf format) by Larry Postel

When their getaway driver leaves them stranded after a bank robbery, two thieves unknowingly hijack a driverless car with a mind of its own.

Cars, more specifically driverless cars, feature prominently in film. From Johnnycab, the ventriloquist-like dummy of Total Recall, to the flying cars of Minority Report and Blade Runner, to quirky KITT in Nightrider, and Herbie, the titular sentient anthropomorphic 1963 Volkswagen Beetle of the movie of the same name.

We generally associate driverless cars with science fiction, however the horror genre introduced us to Steven King’s homicidal Christine, Pixar gave us Cars, and Thomas The Tank Engine and Friends is a beloved children’s favourite.

And now, writer, Larry Postel expertly blends futuristic with comedy crime-caper and introduces us to the aptly named: Driver Les.

We open on two bank robbers who may well go down in the annals as two of the ‘world’s dumbest’, but also lovable criminal characters. They’ve just ‘won the lottery’- so to speak – only to discover their getaway driver has done a runner, and they’ve been left high and dry in the middle of the street, bag of money slung over a shoulder – notes threatening to spill out onto the pavement – and sirens pealing in the near distance.

Things are not looking good for our guys…

They’re just about to give it all away when quite suddenly and fortuitously they happen upon Driver Les, a fully automated driver-less vehicle rolling down the road without a fare.

In their hour of need Driver Les appears to be a dream come true. He’s amiable and accommodating – if bordering on a little needy – and eager to please, offering a library of music available for the boy’s listening pleasure, and an equally impressive selection of refreshing beverages on hand.

When the boys discover the car is equipped with cameras and their driver possesses a photo-memory, the boys freak out, until Driver Les reassures them:

           DRIVER LES (V.O.)
… you gentleman are very pleasant.
There is no suspicious activity here.
     (pause)
Other than the fact that you are skiing
in the middle of July.

           ROBBER 2
Huh?

           ROBBER 1
     (mutters)
The ski masks, numbnuts.

Destination reached, our robbers are so impressed the decision is made to book Driver Les as getaway driver for their next bank heist.

Hmm, whatever could go wrong?

In a funny and ironic final-act twist, just when we think our robbers are into the home stretch and going to get off scot-free, yet again, one of our dim-witted robbers makes a serious error in judgement. It’s a mistake that offends Driver Les – in fact it’s one of Driver Les’s ‘pet peeves’. It’s a big boo-boo that has both boys wishing they’d taken the bus, hailed a cab, or otherwise just hot-footed it up the road with the loot.

Written with perfectly timed humour and wit, Driver Les is sure to be a crowd pleaser at festivals.

Filmmakers: It’s time to take this one to the finish line. Hop in the driver’s seat, get behind the wheel, and put your foot down fast, lest you get run over in the rush.

Production: You’ll want to be a little ingenious with the shoot, but Larry’s made it easier for you with most of the action focused on the two leads in the back seat. Three main characters. One character: V.O. only. A car, some cold hard cash of the counterfeit variety, a couple of ski masks, and you’ll be ready to hit the road.

About the Writer Larry Postel: Over the course of my screenwriting career, I’ve sold and optioned many scripts, and had a handful of short films produced. I’ve also been a finalist and winner in several screenwriting contests, including winning the 2005 Grand Prize in the PAGE Awards competition. Contact Larry at: lpostel1 (a) verizon.net.

Read DRIVER LES (10 pages in PDF format)

This screenplay may not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.

Find more scripts available for production.

About the reviewer: L. Chambers has been writing all her life – especially in her head, and on scraps of paper. It’s only in the last few years she began to get serious about screen-writing. Prior to this she worked in the Features Department for ABC TV as a Program Assistant, and trained as a FAD. She currently works as a freelance web-content editor and lives with her husband (also a screenwriter) in Sydney, Australia.

Friday, October 12, 2018

A Face to Die For – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - post author Guest Reviewer

A Face To Die For (6 pages in pdf format) by Jean-Pierre Chapoteau

A man with the ability to make people laugh with a funny face finds his gift his worst nightmare when his loved ones suffer the consequences…

In A Face To Die For, Jeff has a secret weapon. A unique skill: His face is funny. Not just funny “ha ha”. Seriously funny – you could literally die laughing when Jeff pulls ‘his special face’ on you.

Which may sound dire… but it’s a skill that gets Jeff out of any scrape:

  • Can’t pay the rent? Pull the face.
  • Is a cop approaching your vehicle – speeding ticket in his hand? No problem. Pull the face.
  • Didn’t finish your work? Performance evaluations are due. And the dreaded Boss is on your case? Easy peasy. Pull the face.

You get the idea. Jeff gets what he wants, when he wants. All due to that simple, secret gift.

But what does Jeff want most? To make his girlfriend Yhanna and her young daughter Betty happy all the time. So Jeff pulls ‘the face’ every day, in order to keep them amused… until one terrible day when tragedy strikes. Leaving Jeff to realize: power is no laughing matter. Not when lives are at stake.

Which leaves Jeff to make hard decisions in his life. What should he do to protect himself? And the ones he loves most of all?

Written by Jean-Pierre Chapoteau, A Face to Die For has an awesome hook. Wow, is this a doozy! If you know – or consider yourself – a young Jim Carrey, imagine the possibilities! A talented actor could bring brilliance to this performance – and the script itself is razor sharp. So don’t cut off your nose to spite your face. Get to reading A Face to Die For. Now!

Production: Minimal. 4 main speaking parts (and extras for the montage).

About the Writer: Jean-Pierre Chapoteau started writing feature-length scripts in 2005, then focused on shorts in 2009. Since then he’s had three scripts produced and two more optioned. He has won several awards for his shorts and has become a moderator at the site MoviePoet, who specialize in the craft of the short scripts. Jean-Pierre was a finalist in the RAW TALENT Competition for his faith-based feature-length script: ‘Far From Perfect.’ And was also a semi-finalist in the SLAMDANCE teleplay competition and a finalist in the OBSWRITER teleplay contest for his adapted teleplay, Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Guardian. You can contact Jean-Pierre Chapoteau at: jeanpierre425 (a) gmail.com

Read A Face To Die For (6 pages in pdf format)

This screenplay may not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.

Find more scripts available for production

About the Reviewer: Elaine Clayton is a London-based screenwriter, who has written several well-received shorts and is currently working on her first feature length scripts. Comfortable in a broad range of genres, Elaine has an innate sense of structure and arc development. Contact her at Elaine_clayton (AT) Hotmail(.)co(.)uk

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The Survivor by Mark Renshaw – Produced graphic short - post author Don

The Survivor (16 pages in pdf format) by Mark Renshaw

A teenager embarks on a perilous trek for supplies in a dangerous world where society has collapsed and the air is toxic. With only his toy robot as a companion, he faces lost souls, crazed zealots, and corrupt law enforcement officers. But the real danger is waiting for him at home.

Mark has had a lot of success with The Survivor: A tale from the Nearscape. It was released as a short film and now it has been made into a short comic. The Survivor was written by Thomas Tuna from the script by Mark Renshaw and illustrated by Armandroy Canlas. Please also listen to “The Suvivor Sketches” by Zaalen Tallis. Talk about this script, comic and movie on the discussion board

(click the image to take you to the full version)

Read the rest at HyperEpics.com/Survivor


About the Writer: 2018 Page Awards semi-finalist Mark Renshaw can be reached through his website at Mark-Renshaw.com. An award-winning writer and producer, his last project earned ‘Best Sci-Fi’ at the Top Shorts and Festigious film festivals.

About Hyper Epics: Home of the 3 page sagas, Hyper Epics is a bold anthology series that offers diverse and exciting comic book stories on its website – www.hyperepics.com – and in print form. Each original story is packed with stunning artwork, memorable characters, and captivating stories enhanced with dazzling soundtracks. It is quickly becoming a go-to destination for readers worldwide.

Monday, October 8, 2018

How to Talk to Women – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - post author Guest Reviewer

How to Talk to Women (pdf format) by Marnie Mitchell-Lister

When an old trunk is unearthed at his construction site, a lonely guy’s life takes a turn for the better.

Bradley Taylor is a lovely guy: kind heart, good job, real nice home. The problem is: it’s a home that’s empty. What Bradley’s missing is a lady love. Someone to share his life with. Sure, Bradley’s got a personality that makes him a keeper: but he gets tongue-tied each time a prospect comes along.

Still, Bradley’s being proactive – doing his best to improve his chances and skills. Including reading a self-help book – unimaginatively titled: How to Talk to Women.

A no-brainer, easy-fix.

Or is it too simplified? After all, the best laid plans of Mice and Men are often complicated by real Life.

Especially when Bradley finally meets the girl of his dreams: Agent Dana Parker. The setting: a construction site. The situation: the discovery of a dead body which may – or may not – be Jimmy Hoffa.

Almost immediately, Bradley sets out to impress Dana. But he’s busy being anyone but himself, and messing up… big time. Even funnier is the other side of the equation: that Dana’s perusing a self-help book herself: ‘ Be Irresistible to Men’. And she’s diligently following all the steps.

Even if that results in giving Bradley the world’s worst massage, in an awkward attempt to flirt:


     Vinny approaches as Taylor tries to stand.

            VINNY
What da fuck happened to you?

            TAYLOR
Agent Parker gave me a neck rub.

            VINNY
Holy shit. She fucked you up.

            TAYLOR
You gotta help me. I don’t want
her to know she hurt me.

Ironic isn’t it? Kindred spirits and crossed wires. Two would-be lovers trying soooooo hard to connect that wrong signals and mixed messages whistle like missiles through the air.

In the end, neither knows where they stand. Or in Bradley’s case, how to stand.

Will these two losers in love end up winning hearts? Or at least score a first date?

Get this page turner under construction as soon as you can. Sure, the setting’s so unromantic it hurts. But if you wanna push boundaries on genres, then Marnie Mitchell-Lister’s your gal. With this short film, you’re building something meant to last. Think Two Weeks Notice – and hammer your way to festival success!

Budget: The setting’s really up to you and how much of a construction site you want. It’s easy to keep it real simple with the focus on the two main characters.

Marnie Mitchell-Lister has creative A.D.D. Some of her writing can be read here: BrainFluffs.com. Some of her photography can be seen here: marnzart.wordpress.com.

Read How to Talk to Women (pdf format)

Find more scripts available for production

This screenplay may not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.

About the reviewer: Elaine Clayton is a London-based screenwriter, who has written several well received shorts and is currently doing a Masters in Playwriting and Scriptwriting. Comfortable in a broad range of genres, Elaine has an innate sense of structure and arc development. Contact her at Elaine_clayton (a) hotmail(.)co(.)uk

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Geek by Cindy Keller – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - post author Dena McKinnon

Geek (7 pages in pdf format) by Cindy L Keller

Unable to get help and without hope, a bullied boy is pushed to a morbid end.

Jesse sizes himself up in the mirror while he washes off his blooded knuckles. His face is bruised but not as bad as his soul. His glasses are broken, and this isn’t the first time. Guilt sinks in as he begins blaming himself. Jesse can’t seem to find help from his teachers, his principle…even from his own parents. With no hope, Jesse writes a suicide letter and heads to the garage with a rope cinched into a noose. On his way to end his pain, his arch enemy shows up. Curt, the bully, mouths off and a fight ensues.

What I love about this story.
Oh Irony. When Jesse finally wins, he really still loses. I really care about Jesse and want him to find help. It’s both a sad and strong story that will either make you cry or make your blood boil. Use of voice over is done well over strong images. This was a clever way to tell the story making us FEEL Jesse’s pain.

Why this SHOULD be produced.
It’s a story that needs to be told a zillion times to make people aware. A hard but attractive subject for festivals, this script is also budget friendly with only one location.

Production: Budget – low; Characters – 1 main, 6 extras; Location – 1 location

About the writer: Cindy Kellor is an award-winning screenwriter. She’s been a finalist at Page, finalist at Gimme Credit, Sixth place winner at American Gem, and the winner of Hellfire’s Short Horror Contest. She has had two shorts produced, and has more shorts and features available for production. Cindy can be reached at skyburg (a) hotmail

Read Geek (7 page drama in pdf format)

This screenplay may not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.

Find more scripts available for production

About the reviewer: Dena McKinnon is an optioned and produced screenwriter who also writes on assignment. Her IMDb credits. She can be reached at: girlbytheshore (a) hotmail.

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